Today I'm writing about how to rank highly in MSN Bing.
Microsoft’s newest search engine, Bing, was first released in May 2009. With Bing, it seems like they’ve finally hit on something the public can get behind. This is a very pretty piece of tech. So, like the rest of the marketing community, I’ve been digging in and analysing how to rank highly in MSN Bing.
Not shockingly, the rankings for Bing versus Yahoo! or Google are not necessarily very different. The major differences relate mostly to the fact that Bing is new.
Quality Content First
Bing, like so many other search engines has built its entire algorithm around the user experience. That’s not a bad thing though. It actually makes things easier for you and here’s how. Your competitors are all out there searching for ways to “trick” the search engines into higher rankings. They don’t want to put the hard work in for quality content. So, when you do, you automatically jump ahead of them.
The three things I want you to remember here are:
1. Continue integrating keywords into your text – While quality content is important, the keywords still help. Just don’t focus on the keywords to the detriment of your readers.
2. Fresh content – Bing is a new search engine which means it is still indexing the web. A lot of spam littered sites that clog up Google and Yahoo! aren’t in there. So, if you use the tried and true trick of writing fresh content every week for your site, you’ll get more pages in Bing, which equals more traffic.
3. Be original – There’s a temptation to write things that are already out there – co-opting ideas from other blogs and rewriting them. Not only do you need good content, you need original, fresh ideas to draw readers in.
Quality content is the foundation of all search engines (and the only answer you’ll get if you ask Microsoft this very question), so it should be the first thing you focus on when you build your content. Trust me, the rankings will come with it.
Managing Your Backlinks
Of course, part of good content is other sites telling Bing that your content is good. How do they do that? With a boatload of back links. This is another holdover from classic search algorithms by Google and one of the important ways to bump your way through Bing’s listings.
However, there are a few differences here to keep in mind. First, Bing doesn’t provide things like Page Rank to help you determine the internal ranking of the sites you’re getting links from. Second, not all sites – even the good ones – are listed in Bing yet.
To solve these two problems, you’ll need to do searches in Bing to find high ranking sites. Look for content rich sites that are related to your niche and don’t contain too many links already.
Also, sites that have good pagerank in Google, tend to more often than not hold good value as far as backlinks are concerned for Bing.
However, Bing places more emphasis on the title tags of the page that is linking to your page than Google does (ie not just the anchor text on that page). I think that is probably because Bing is not quite as sophisticated as Google is in determining the theme of a website or webpage as a whole, so it uses these title tags to determine the relevancy of the site linking to yours.
Additionally, if you have existing backlinks, make sure those sites are submitted in Bing. If they are not, you can manually submit them for inclusion. Sometimes, just submitting the sites that link to your site can help improve your ranking.
The idea here is always quality over quantity (though quantity doesn’t hurt). Look to add as many links as you can, but ensure they are all high quality.
Tweak Your Titles, Metas, and URLs
Yup, titles, meta tags and URLs are still important factors for search rankings, though not nearly as much as they were in the 1990s. First, make sure every page on your site has a unique, keyword rich title. Then, make sure you include both the META description tag and the META keywords tag on every page, with original content in each of them.
These are simple tasks that a lot of sites neglect. If you are using a Wordpress installation, you can add the All-in-One SEO plugin to provide custom titles and descriptions for every one of your blog posts.
Additionally, make sure the URLs for each of your pages are descriptive and keyword rich. This falls into both the technical and aesthetic sides of search engine optimization. Bing uses keywords to determine content, but they also use language filters to determine if the titles and URLs are useful to the user. So, don’t stuff keywords in there without rhyme or reason. Write them in a way that provides value to your reader while still describing content to the search engine.
There are a few things that make Bing a little different to Google in the way they do their rankings... for instance:
The age of your domain: Bing puts a lot more weight on the age of your website than Google does, the older your site is the more likely Bing is to trust it.
The amount of words per page: Bing puts a higher weighting on pages that have more content than pages that have less content. So as a rule of thumb, with Bing, you'll find it a little harder to rank highly with pages that are less than 300 words long, whereas with Google, while content is king, the length isn't quite so heavily weighed on.
Bing likes sites that link out: If you link out to lots of good quality sites, Bing trusts your site more and you end up getting higher rankings. When you link out Bing seems to like it if the title tags of the pages that you link to include the keyword that your page is trying to rank for.
Backlinks: While they are important with Bing, they are nowhere near as important as they are with Google. Some people on Bing-optimization related messageboards complain about their rankings when they have thousands of backlinks and high Google rankings, but they haven't got other areas going well on their sites that Bing places more weight on than Google does.
Overall though, it all starts and ends with good, quality content. Bing, just like Google, wants happy readers. Make your readers happy and half the work is already done.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post, I'm interested in your comments!
All the best,
P.S. On another note, make sure you check out the prelaunch blog for my newest and best product AffiloJetpack. I've released 2 free reports there, one is 'The 5 Step Formula For Making 10k/month Online' and the other is 'How to Make PILES of Cash By Giving Away Free Content'. Both are packed with a lot of detail and are well worth printing out before I take them down.